content is not enough

Brian wrote a great post about the focus on content creation in the open education movement. There were some great comments on that post – some arguing (correctly, IMO) that there isn’t enough great content available.

But even that misses the point, I fear.

Content is the least important part of education. What is far more important is what takes place between and among the students. The activities of the community of learners. What they actually DO with the content and with each other.

Great content IS important, but only if there is also a functioning and active community working together to learn, create and share. Otherwise, all that takes place is content dissemination. And that’s not education, open or otherwise.

Content Dissemination
ST 148

or active community of learners
Discussions - 5

6 thoughts on “content is not enough”

  1. You mean we should, like, talk to each other??!

    How can we possibly stay on topic? Measure time on task? Who do we know who to trust? What are you some kinda educator or something??


  2. D’Arcy, I totally agree. In fact, you could argue that for people who have access to decent libraries (I guess in the West at least anybody near a major city) have all the content they could ever dream of, but what is needed is the process of learning – and there could be lot’s of different models – some people want one-on-one, others want to read the same materials and discuss it as a cohort, others want evaluation and feedback, etc.

    What we are trying to do with the is exactly this – to raise kind of a “learning process” on top of all the OER that already exists. Our model is by far not the only valid one, but we hope it will be an interesting example.

  3. One of our biggest challenges is to build *spaces* that are appropriate to the task. I’m so tired of having to teach in spaces that are designed for knowledge transmission, rather than construction. It’s a huge, uphill battle.

  4. It’s doubtful that you would find anyone commenting on either the
    post you mention or the followup that would disagree with what you
    are saying here. In fact, those posts and a variety of others have
    said essentially the same thing.

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